Five Reasons Liverpool won’t win the Premier League
Simon Sinclair | 18 November 2016
Why Liverpool won’t win the Premier League
Liverpool have made an impressive start to the Premier League season, winning eight of their opening 11 fixtures to sit top of the table.
Jurgen Klopp’s men hold a narrow lead over Chelsea after dropping just seven points in the first three months of the campaign, with their only defeat coming at the hands of Burnley.
The Reds have not won the top-flight crown since the 1989/90 season, and have failed to capitalise on their opportunities to end their drought, none more so than their capitulation two years ago.
This term may present the best chance to win the title due to Klopp’s experience, with the club backed at 12/5 with Coral to triumph for the first time since the formation of the Premier League.
However, there are plenty of obstacles ahead for the Reds as we explain what could prevent Jordan Henderson holding the trophy aloft come end the of the season.
For all their attacking flair, question marks remain over the quality of Liverpool’s backline. They have already conceded 14 goals, which is the highest amongst teams currently inside the top seven, boasting just one clean sheet that came against Manchester United.
Alberto Moreno’s struggles have seen James Milner pressed into service at left-back, and that is just one of the issues Klopp has had to contend with. Dejan Lovren has proven to have an error in him, with his horrific backpass against Crystal Palace as evidence and, although Joel Matip has been solid enough he is still inexperienced in the Premier League.
The situation between the sticks is far from ideal either as Loris Karius has replaced Simon Mignolet, but even the German has had a few concerning moments in his brief Liverpool career. All these factors could weigh into the title race.
Tough Winter Fixtures
A testing festive period can make-or-break a push for the Premier League crown due to the amount of games played in such a short time span.
The Reds will look back at their two losses to Chelsea and Manchester City in the 2013/14 season with great regret, which came back-to-back at the end of December, although their defeat at the Etihad Stadium was extremely controversial.
This time around Klopp’s men have a mix of crunch fixtures, with winnable games sandwiched in between. The Reds play away at Everton in the first Merseyside Derby of the season on December 19 and then host Manchester City on New Year’s Eve, with Stoke saddled between the fixtures.
In January the tough contests continue with a trip to Old Trafford and a home clash against Chelsea.
These games will be massive in the context of the title race, and Klopp will be determined to win them all, but it is imperative they don’t take their eyes off potential trap matches against the Potters, Sunderland and Swansea City and repeat the failure they experienced at Burnley.
Will The Domestic Cup Competitions Be A Distraction?
Liverpool have the benefit of not playing in Europe this season, which could save the legs of their players for the latter stages of the campaign. However, the club were successful in the League Cup last season, reaching the final before being defeated on penalties by Man City.
The Reds have a proud history in both tournaments, having won the League Cup a record eight times, while they’ve lifted the FA Cup on seven occasions. Klopp won the double during the 2011/12 season with Borussia Dortmund, clinching the DFB-Pokal and the Bundesliga, so it proves that he will not shy away from attempting to push for glory on multiple fronts.
Whether it will knock his team off their game in the league is another matter and could be the fatal flaw in their push for the title, especially when the fixture list becomes disjointed as a result of pushing into the latter stages of the competitions.
Between March and April Liverpool face three huge fixtures in the space of four matches that could well decide if they are going to lift the top-flight crown for the first time in 27 years.
The Reds have decent records in recent history against Arsenal, City and Everton, but having these three intense contests in such a short space of time could just be too much for their squad to handle, especially towards the end of the campaign when there could be heavy legs.
Even if they emerge victorious, the energy used in the matches could drain Klopp’s men for their remaining eight fixtures, with a lot of contests over April squeezed into a short period of time.
Liverpool are not blessed with the depth of talent of the teams around them, leaving them more vulnerable to physical and mental fatigue late in the season.
Every fan remembers the scene following Liverpool’s impressive 3-2 victory over Man City at Anfield which put them on the brink of the title in 2014. Steven Gerrard gathered his teammates around him and bellowed that the crown would not slip from their grasp.
Unfortunately for the Reds skipper he would be on the receiving end of the harshest of ironies when his stumble against Chelsea allowed Demba Ba to score, while the Blues blunted Brendan Rodgers’ men’s attacks to claim a 2-0 victory.
The result forced Liverpool to attack against Crystal Palace, but after racing into a 3-0 lead they capitulated at Selhurst Park, conceding three late goals to all but surrender the title to City.
Nerves affected Rodgers’ young team, and there is a lot of inexperience in the Liverpool squad this season, especially when it comes to title success. Only James Milner was a regular in a Premier League winning side, while Ragnar Klavan and Marko Grujic have won crowns on the continent.
However in the fever-pitch of a battle for the title, Liverpool cracked before and can easily do so again, especially with the weight of a 27-year drought on their shoulders. The 2013/14 team was arguably more talented than this squad and they were overcome, and it’s hard to see this outfit succeeding where they failed.
After reading our five reasons why Liverpool won’t win the Premier League, where do you see the Reds finishing this season?